How to bat in one-day cricket

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< 1 minute read

Here is our one-day batting philosophy – take it or leave it. It is not scientific. We are not scientific. We’ve never even owned a lab coat.

To us, one-day batting works like this.

  1. Try and hit a single
  2. If it’s asking for it, try and hit a four

That’s pretty much it. If you follow those steps successfully for the majority of an innings, you’ll probably find yourself in a decent position to start doing the wild bat flailing thing that everyone thinks is ‘modern one-day cricket’ towards the end of the innings. Quite how many overs of bat-flailery you can allow yourself depends on how well you’ve executed steps one and two.

England continually balls-up both steps. They fail to force singles frequently enough and so eventually find themselves having to force fours and sixes instead – which is even harder and inevitably leads to them getting out.


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  1. Twice in a week – you’re obsessed with lab coats at the moment. What is it? Did you see some girl at the pub who’d just finished her shift at Astra Zeneca and who was still wearing her lab coat? Did it set off a whole new set of thoughts that are now difficult to shift? Is all this mentioning of lab coats just your way of trying to normalise them, making them just another piece of easily-mentioned apparel, instead of the object of a sordid fantasy? What was she wearing underneath her lab coat, eh? Come on, what was it?

    No really, what was it?

    1. It’s more that we’ve twice mentioned science. Maybe there are people out there who know more about science than the fact that some scientists wear lab coats.

      We are not among their number.

  2. Über-scientific piece, KC.

    I find it very hard to believe that you were able to write such a piece without wearing a lab coat.

    Risky too.

    Potential danger to yourself and possibly others. Please think through all the health and safety issues before writing another scientific piece.

    1. We had a boiler suit on. We figured that might protect us from the worst of the scientific radiation.

      Again, that view was not informed by science in any way.

  3. As a scientician, I find one only wears a lab coat when government inspectors are in to ensure we’re not breeding an all-powerful race of mice/spiders, who will immobilize human beings in giant webs in order to steal cheese.

    1. Speaking as a non-scientician, you could make a far more persuasive case for your innocence by NOT wearing a lab coat.

      No-one wearing a pinstripe suit and bowler hat would ever be breeding all-powerful mice/spiders.

    2. We’ve no idea what you’re on about, but we were faintly unsettled when Google froze on “showing results for ‘spiderman'” when we tried to find out.

  4. “Here is our one-day batting philosophy – take it or leave it. It is not scientific.” Can a philosophy be scientific?

    1. Philosophy should always be systematic and rational, so yeah. That said, ours fails on the first count.

    2. Hmm. Not sure that philosophy has to be systematic and rational or that systematic rationality adequately defines science or that your proposed methodology qualifies as either. On a lighter not, my wife is a scientist, does wear a lab coat and looks rather fetching in it. It has done little to further her knowledge of cricket though.

  5. …and then in the final two overs add the 39 runs needed to make the chase twenty times harder.

  6. Shouldn’t there be something about running every now and then in that phylosophy?
    Just wondering. It seems to me Indians are moving a little bit (271 in 50 overs).
    Maybe if we let the bear free, English players may run too (let’s remember rule 3 from a recent post).

    1. Seems a little excessive to mix the drinks that way when on 12th man duties, but that’s our Isha for you.

      Very fetching outfit in this context – good spot DC.

      As for you, KC, observe and take note. THAT is how to dress when writing about science. The boiler suit option is health and safety gone mad.

  7. With Bopara in your middle order, is running a single the best advice during the middle overs?

  8. I knew somebody would end up quoting from Spaced on here eventually. It was only a matter of time.

  9. To be fair, after being thrown into a two-T20 series in the West Indies and then a 5-ODI series with no tests in India, England may well be a bit demotivated and also curious as to who made these schedules and why. I mean, If I can’t be bothered watching them (and I’m Indian), why would an English batsman be bothered to run from one side of the pitch to another some 50-100 times?

    1. Because the English batsman has committed to play and has an obligation to help the team win while you’re free to not watch?

    2. There was a time when the Oval (where both those T20s were played) was unofficially deemed to be part of the West Indies, but these days it is considered to be as English as any other cricket ground located in England!

    3. Motivation works subconsciously, usually. Almost all teams say that they want to win dead rubber matches, for example, but a large amount won’t show it on the pitch. India, likewise, may have spoken about leaving behind the test series before the ODIs in England, but they quite clearly didn’t.

  10. By the way KC I would be interested to see how your philosophy would work in village or club cricket. It seems to me that the only rules there are 1. Lamp it 2. Run

    1. My (old) team’s version would be:

      1. Leave it
      2. Block it

      which is interestingly close to the current England model. Our philosophy can best be summed up in the phrase “There’s never been a boundary ball bowled yet that couldn’t also be let through to the keeper.” That’s how as an opening batsman I compiled my great scores of 6 (not out), 8 (not out), and of course 2 (not out).

  11. KC – it’s an interesting viewpoint on approaching one day cricket, and not far from the truth (or indeed your high exacting standards). Saying that, its amazing when you consider role that cricketing culture plays on each country’s team one day cricket approach.

    Take India for instance – for the last twenty odd years, they start hurriedly (Srikkanth, Sehwag, Tendulkar etc – ignore Gavaskar for this point), but end with a medium bang (historically filled with tail-end muppets). Pakistan, raised in the same conditions, play their first 40 overs like muppets on Brufen, but never fail to end manically. England and Australia to a certain extent start ferociously till the 25th over, but whimper with the dying light. You can keep drawing such parallels. The beauty of Flower’s new regime is in instilling a cultural shift – in introducing unorthodoxy in English cricket, in just three years, which is why it’s unfair to say that the English team that was beaten 5-0 here is as good/bad as the previous beaten English team. Saying that, someone needs to give the English batsmen a good talking about game sense; why on earth was Alistair Cook frantically trying to reverse sweep Jadeja when they were 130 for no wicket after 21 overs? Its almost as if orthodoxy were a bad word.

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